Hero MotoCorp has just showcased its new 300cc+ adventure motorcycle concept at the Hero World 2020 event. The prototype on display doesn't sport any bodywork, giving us a close look at the new platform and other bits that will make Hero MotoCorp's new ADV motorcycle.
The first thing you notice on the model is a new steel trellis chassis finished in the same red shade as the Hero Dakar Rally motorcycle. This will be the first Hero motorcycle to use a trellis frame and it will be interesting to see how it's set up.
A brand-new, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine (another first for Hero) will power the new adventure motorcycle. While Hero hasn't announced power and torque figures, we are told that the engine will displace over 300cc, but we believe it won't cross the 400cc mark. Hero won't be going for huge power figures like the KTM engines, but will instead focus on achieving healthy usable power from the motor. Power figures are likely to be above 30hp. The motor will be paired to a 6-speed gearbox, and we expect the gearing to suit the on/off-road applications of the motorcycle.
An interesting point is that Hero is currently developing its own 450cc, single-cylinder engine for its long-distance rally bikes that compete in events like the Dakar rally. This new engine is being developed alongside the Dakar motor and will definitely receive some technical inputs from that platform.
As for the chassis, the frame is a steel trellis unit with a bolt-on subframe. Hero has employed a thick USD fork at the front and a link-type monoshock at the rear. Suspension travel at either end appears to be generous, and this should translate to the ADV motorcycle being a capable touring/off-road machine. Keeping its off-road intent in mind, Hero has given the motorcycle tube-type wire-spoke rims, and says it could come with either a 19-inch or 21-inch front end. This leads us to believe there will be two model lines, similar to what Triumph has done with the Tiger 800 (now 900). The prototype is shod with knobby tyres and we expect Hero MotoCorp to fit the production version with a slightly more road-friendly tyre, like the Metzler Tourance.
The concept bike uses Bybre-sourced, radially mounted calipers at the front and a single-piston Bybre at the rear. ABS will be standard and we expect it to be switchable at the rear.
While these are the details of the motor and underpinnings, Hero hasn't revealed anything about the way the model is expected to look, the seat height, equipment, etc. They did, however, tell us that, like with the XPulse, there will be a priority placed on making sure the ergonomics are as accessible to shorter riders as reasonably possible within the confines of the design and intention of the motorcycle.
The Hero bike will certainly not go on sale this year but we expect to get more information towards the end of this year. Its too early to say, but a launch could take place in the second half of 2021 or even in 2022.
The new Hero is being built to take on the recently launched KTM 390 Adventure and BMW G 310 GS. It has the potential to be a great middleweight machine with some serious off-road ability, so much so that it might just end up being an Enduro/ADV just like the XPulse is. In typical Hero fashion, prices should be competitive. The wait has begun!
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